Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Not My Llama

Hello, friends. First thing's is getting warmer out (maybe), so here is a brief summary of which stores are hosting what knit-alongs (KALs) in the Chicago area this spring:

That said, there is this fantastic Polish idiom which reads Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy. In other words, "Not my circus, not my monkey." My friend PJ's version of it is "Not my llama," but the message is the same:  whatever it is, it's not my problem.

Drama, believe it or not, is a choice. Bad things happen every day of your life. Drama is what comes of handling everyday life events, mostly bad but sometimes even not-so-bad, poorly. One thing drama is not, I assure you, is a given. If you say drama follows you around, or you have no control over the drama surrounding any situation, then you are choosing incorrectly.

Did you get fired? Did your boyfriend leave you for someone who looks just like you, only younger and "less complicated?" Did your basement flood from all of the melting snow? These are all very valid reasons to be angry. Sometimes, life just sucks. Not only that...sometimes, all of these things happen at once, and life sucks threefold.

The question is, how are you handling things? If you put it in Park to spend your day festering over the details, and then calling all of your friends to reiterate all of those festered details with no goal of getting them resolved (at least in your head), then therein lies the problem. We cannot stop living when bad things happen.

So here is what drama does to people:  for the people who create it, the drama prevents them from actually working through any problems, and then ultimately moving on from them. Not a great way to live, considering we all have obligations. Drama is what invades our lives and creates a wall between what we are doing, and what we need to do, and a holding pattern is not a healthy way to live.

It causes unnecessary anger. And anger kills people. And not just the object of it, either...people who are perpetually angry are raising their blood pressures, creating undue stress, and making things worse by not fulfilling those life obligations, so they are basically getting behind in life and leaving a poop-storm in their wake. Drama also tends to exploit things that, in the grand scheme of our seventy-plus years here, are really not that big of a deal over that span. Why waste more than the minimum amount of time being angry, when another major life event or milestone is just around the corner?

Here is what drama does to others:  answering the phone when someone has to bitch about the same thing for the hundredth time is now causing both people to stop being productive for the hundredth time. The person answering the phone can see the Drama King or Queen's name on their caller ID, and they will ultimately have one of two choices:  answer and be less productive, or slowly cut that person out of their lives.

So, either someone's world temporarily stops turning for someone who is not properly dealing with their life problems, or the person who is not dealing with their life problems will have no "friends" left. Drama is very isolating.

This may surprise you, but while most of us want to be there as a friend, there is actually a limit before we finally have to intervene and find a polite (or blunt, depending on the nature of the friendship) way of saying, "I'm sorry, but I do not have time for your crap today. Not my llama. In fact, nobody does...on a related note, have you thought about talking to somebody?"

We are not necessarily equipped to deal with everything life hands us all at once; that is why there are professionals out there. Support groups, therapists, volunteers...basically any number of people whose sole purpose is to help you get through things. Your friends and family are there to listen, but not fix you, and if your drama is interfering with their lives, they can either choose to guide you to the right help and make both of your lives better, feed into your drama and make both of your lives worse, or steer clear of you and make their own life better. They can't control the person swinging the drama.

See, the stuff creating the drama is the problem of the person creating it, and not the person causing it. So your husband spent your kids' college fund on hookers? Get it out of your system once, regroup, and move on. If you are hashing it out endlessly for your girlfriends and then complaining that you no longer have any money because of it, then you are fostering drama. Congratulations to you. Now do something about it. Your problems are not my llama. They are your llama.

Look around you...we all know someone who really, really knows how to bring the drama. So ask yourself:  how many calories do they burn on things that should not concern them? How many minutes (or hours, even) are taken away from happiness with their families, raising their children right, loving their spouses properly, or fostering healthy friendships because they are too busy incorporating what others are doing into their daily conversation?

Oh, you claim you do not know anyone who does that? Well, like I said...we all know someone who does it. So if you say you don't know people like that, then guess what? It's you.

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